Kolkata Knight Riders take on the hapless Deccan Chargers for the second time in succession when the teams meet at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
While KKR have registered their fourth win in seven matches, DC remain winless and languish at the bottom of the points table, after five games. A win on Tuesday will take KKR to the top of the table while DC would be playing for pride, as their qualification chances appear to be vanishing with every game; the best thing to be said for Tuesday’s visitors is that there would no pressure of expectation riding on them.
KKR’s win has been built on their maturing bowling with Lee and Balaji outstanding; the frugality of these bowlers has facilitated wicket-taking by Sunil Narine and Rajat Bhatia who controlled the middle overs brilliantly in the reverse fixture against DC who collapsed to 126/7 after being 81/1 in the 12th over. Gambhir has been consistent at the top of the batting order while Pathan and McCullum have confounded the team’s supporters with their poor form. mcCullum could give way to Shakib Hasan who will also bring variety to the bowling with his slow left arm spin.
DC are paying the penalty for some poor decisions at the IPL auction where they came within a whisker of buying Kevin Pietersen and Pragyan Ojha but failed to close the deal. Team selection has also been contentious with out-of-form White and Christian continuing to find favour over Rusty Theron. Dale Steyn in bowling and Dhawan in batting have been the lone bright spots in an otherwise forgettable campaign for the IPL winners of 2009.
KKR start as favourites but cannot afford to take DC for granted; given the format of the 20 over game, a single player laying outstandingly can cause an upset. For DC, the best bet would be to bat first and put the runs on the board. From their experience at Cuttack, in the reverse leg, that would be easier said than done.
KKR’s probable eleven: Gambhir, Kallis, Bisla, Shakib, tiwary, Pathan, Das, Bhatia, Lee, Narine, Balaji.
DC’s probable eleven: Sangakkara, Dhawan, Patel, Duminy, Theron, Chipli, R Teja, Steyn, VP Singh, A Sharma, A Mishra.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.